Wall Street ended its second straight winning week with a moderate advance today, overcoming investors' concerns about consumer confidence...
NEW YORK — Wall Street ended its second straight winning week with a moderate advance today, overcoming investors’ concerns about consumer confidence and inflation.
The Dow Jones industrial average gained 42.91 to 12,891.86, after falling more than 100 points earlier in the session. The Dow closed the week with a gain of less than 1 percent.
Microsoft, one of the 30 Dow stocks, fell $1.97 to close at $29.83 a shares. Boeing, also a Dow stock, gained $1.84 to $84.84.
Broader stock indicators were mixed on the day. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index gained 9.02 to 1,397.84, and rose 2.1 percent for the week.
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The Nasdaq composite index, depressed by Microsoft, fell 5.99 to 2,422.93, after dropping as much as 1.6 percent during the session. But advancers were well ahead of decliners in the broader Nasdaq Stock Market. For the week, the Nasdaq gained 1.4 percent.
Investors were also concerned about Microsoft’s forecast for the current quarter and its revenue figures. And news that a ship under contract with the U.S. Navy fired flares and warning shots at two small boats of unknown origin in the Persian Gulf sent oil prices up sharply — raising the specter of higher inflation, which could be a further deterrent to consumer spending.
“It looked like the market wanted to rally this morning,” said Neil Massa, equity trader at John Hancock Funds, adding that news of the incident in the Gulf unnerved investors.
The market had risen early in the session, then given up early gains after the release of the Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index, which fell to 62.6 for April from 69.5 a month earlier. It was the lowest reading since the early 1980s, as Americans contended with rising energy and food prices. Consumers’ flagging mood is worrisome for Wall Street, because consumer spending accounts for about 70 percent of U.S. economic activity.
But the market also had a more upbeat tone after a series of earnings reports that, despite some sore spots, were generally reassuring. Financial stocks that were battered in recent months finished the day with solid gains.